Mother Jones Radio 2006-09-24: The Future of the Republican Party; Veterans for Iraq Withdrawal
This week, we look at dissent within the Republican party and the military. First up, Republican leadership is divided over torture and the Geneva Conventions. Human Rights Watch's Joanne Mariner helps us sort out which congressional Republicans have stood up against the Bush administration's torture policies -- and why. "I think it's very relevant that the three Republicans who are fighting the Bush administration's approach are the three Republicans with probably the closest ties to the military" -- former POW John McCain, former Navy officer John Warner, and military lawyer Lindsey Graham.
Also, we talk to Iraq Veterans for Progress founder Tim Goodrich from Camp Democracy, a protest being held on the mall in Washington, DC. He tells us why he's in favor of pulling out of Iraq. "The longer we stay there, the more the Iraqis are going to be upset about our presence, because, let's face it, our presence is fueling the resistance over there, and fueling much of the violence."
Plus, when California Republican Pete McClosky lost the congressional primary to Richard Pombo, he chose to endorse the Democratic challenger. The reason? A fight for the soul of the Republican party, which he argues has been hijacked by extremists. The party "has become the creature of the far right, and I've seen good friends like [Bob] Dole and [George HW] Bush have to go and embrace fundamentalist ministers like [Jerry] Falwell, and Pat Robertson in order to get the Republican nomination," says McCloskey. "The party has sort of pulled away from any of the old reasonable bases like balanced budgets and honesty and freedom from lobbying control...I don't feel badly at all about endorsing Democrats, and i feel that the thing that may save the nation would be if the Democrats took control of the House in November." We check in with McClosky, and with Dick Russell, who profiles him in the current issue of Mother Jones.